At TWC, we’ve always had a soft spot for Pactimo.
We were so impressed with the quality of their Raptor shorts and the array of jersey designs they offer, that when we created our own custom Total Women’s Cycling kit, we asked them to print it.
One of the most noticeable elements of the Colorado giant’s offering in women’s cycling is the sheer size of it. Pactimo (at time of writing) have a staggering 79 women’s jersey options on their site, with designs ranging from the subtlety stylish to the bold and beautiful. There are of course matching shorts, jackets and accessories to go with those.
We know from data supplied by retailers that women like to browse before buying – and Pactimo make it easy. Ranges are clearly segregated into families with individual identities – you can choose between the simple ‘Match Your Ride’ design which comes in an array of colours to complement your bike, whilst the ‘Artist Series’ selection comprises of jerseys styled to be louder. Like the statement pieces of your everyday wardrobe. A lot of these are a little bit Marmite – no doubt you’ll find plenty you hate, but with the volume of options you’d be hard pushed not to pick out something you liked.
Our favourite set
Of course, amongst the raft of options, we were always going to have a favourite. The TWC seal of approval has to be attached to the Summit Jersey and Raptor shorts.
The Summit Speed jersey (£80) uses five different fabrics throughout, to ensure that each square of material is working to optimum. We loved the way the material hugs the skin where it needs to, but doesn’t feel restrictive or clingy in an uncomfortable way. There’s carbon woven in to the material, to ensure optimum breathability, and the sleeves fit beautifully thanks to a Euro style length with silicone embedded into the wide arm band. On top of all that, reflective panelling is fed into the arm and waist grippers, adding a little extra safety feature.
The Raptor shorts (£135) are part of a more limited offering from the brand – the idea being that they go with everything and keep the options lower in volume, but high in quality.
The most notable feature on these shorts is the CyTech Endurance 2 X-Tract Chamois – it’s one of the best we’ve tested – a vote of confidence that comes from a selection of TWC's editors – past and present. Not only this, the reflective leg grippers are double turned for comfort and a flattering fit whilst the ‘coldback technology’ woven into the rear of the body complements the features of the Summit Jersey.
The only thing missing from these bibs is a comfort break enabler – these use a simple teardrop design that requires a full change when nature calls. However, given all the other plus points, this wouldn’t stop these being the ‘go-to’ bottoms for long and short rides.
- Artist series jerseys: £80
- Ascent Air Jersey: £80
- Ascent Vector bibs: £95
- Summit Speed Jersey: £80
- Raptor Shorts: £135
- See it all here.
Pactimo more recently sent us their 'Ascent Air' jersey (£80) - a super lightweight construction designed to keep you cool and feeling as light as a feather on long, climby rides. This jersey uses 'Total Fit' Speedskin fabric with zero weight mesh at the back and sides, keeping weight down and helping assist breathability whilst also creating a lovely wrapping shape.
Just to make sure you feel super pro, there's also a radio pocket, and an earbud loop in the collar - most of us will just have to imagine our DS shouting down the radio, but this might be a real plus for someone out there!
We wore this jersey with the Ascent Vector bibs (£95) - our favourite feature here being the super soft wide leg grippers and bold 'Pactimo' logo running along each cuff. The upper body is shaped much like the Raptor shorts, in a tear drop style, with mesh fabric on the body to provide breathability.
This year, Pactimo are working with a brand new women's development team: Sunsport Velo RT. Headline sponsors for the team, whose base is in Greater Manchester's Altrincham, include SunSport Coaching, Velo Espresso, and Torelli and O’Brien race services. Their aim is to develop young talent and compete on the national stage, with some international appearances.
The team consists of road captain Anouska Edwards, a British Cycling Physiotherapist, plus junior cycle cross rider Sophie Thackray, as well as Grace Sarah Rogerson, Madeleine Scott and Jane Hellewell.
The team are targeting the Women Road Series, across the north-west and the track league at Manchester velodrome. They'll also attend some races in Holland, Belgium and Ireland - the five day An Post Rás na mBan, in September being a major goal.
The girls have a full supply of Pactimo kit - and if it's anything like they gear we've tested from the brand, they'll be well supported.